Sunday, September 5, 2010

For I know the plans I have for you

5 Weeks 4 Days Old= 39 Days Old
31 Week 6 Day Gestation
3 lb. 5.61 oz.

Thank you for all your prayers. Right off the bat, we are not sick and Casey never became sick. Wednesday I was so sick, I was convinced I had the flu. I woke up Thursday feeling completely normal, even went to the doctor to get checked out and she found nothing wrong. She thinks I might have had mastitis but it cleared up on its own. Scott and I still stayed away from the hospital just to make sure. Scott had a tingling in his throat. When I asked him Thursday night if his throat was still sore, he said "that's not an easy's sore but I was screaming at the football game." Ugh, so we had to wait another day, until Friday before we tentatively ventured back to the hospital after two days of symptom-free existence. Boy, I missed Casey so much. Two whole days of not seeing her, it was tough.

Fortunately, we have sweet nurses who kept her healthy and happy and gave us spirited updates over the phone whenever we called. In fact, Arlene informed us that Casey had been entertaining them by opening her eyes and smiling...and that she has a dimple in her left cheek!!! We couldn't wait to see it!!! It was hard but our nurses made it easier by giving us detailed updates. We know our Casey is in such good hands. We find little gifts in Casey's isolette demonstrating how loved our little girl is.

I mentioned in my last post, but this monkey is a gift from Ava. It has been disinfected and is Casey's roommate in her little isolette. We came in one morning to find it sporting a preemie pamper (Casey used to wear that size pamper) and a CPap head gear (not seen in this photo). We found that another of Casey's nurse, Gina, had painstakingly worked to get the CPAP mask and pamper on, even cutting out a hole in the rear for the monkey's tail.

One Casey's one month, we came in to find that Arlene had created this adorable little announcement and put it on the side of Casey's isolette. Look at the cute bow on top of the baseball cap. I'm a little worried that Arlene has set the bar too high. When Casey comes home, how am I going to keep this going. I can't scrapbook AT ALL. I may have to use my photoshop skills to just change the dates on this one =)

Most of my family hasn't been able to see Casey yet. Half of them are on the Big Island. When friends of my dad found out what had happened with Rory and Allison, they gave my dad airline fare so he could fly up here from the Big Island. He was here for the weekend and just left today. He came with us to the hospital and sat with us and we kangarood. But, even more awesome, he was there for some of her 3 hour "cares." That's when she tends to wake up and we got to see her looking around the first day. Yesterday, Nurse Gina got us really involved in the "cares" and my dad was there as we changed her diaper, cleaned her mouth, took her temperature, and helped position her. We stopped by the hospital today and my dad rubbed her head when they took off her CPAP head gear to change her nose mask. She loves it. Liken it to getting a foot rub just after you take off your shoes after being on your feet all day. She loved it so much, she made our week with a smile and a DIMPLE!!!!

[Kangaroo time with mommy, she was squirmy for the first half. By the time she had fallen into a deep sleep, it was time to put her back. Which woke her up and we were treated to her loud grunts and complaints] [This is Nurse Leila. We told her that it was Papa Jim's last time with Casey before heading back to the Big Island and she had us help her with all of Casey's cares. We know it slows things down and probably puts the nurses back in their busy schedules, but it's the biggest gift and we love doing it. The nurses coach us through how to handle Casey, what signs to look for that she needs to be left alone, what she likes and doesn't like. Here, the CPAP gear nose attachment is being changed. There's prongs that insert into her nostrils and there's a suction cup that goes over her nose. They change back and forth between the two every six hours so as to change the pressure on her nose and keep it from creating sores. It's also a great time to be visiting because the head gear comes off for a minute or two and we can see Casey's face!!! Here daddy watches while Papa Jim rubs Casey's head to get the blood circulating *only under the supervision of Leila]

[Leila carefully holds the CPAP over Casey's nose so she still gets enough oxygen during her little massage break] Get ready for the cutest picture ever!!!! There's the dimple!!!

Allison and Rory

I'm learning that tears are still coming and they surprise me when they come. Of course, it was made tougher by our self-created quarantine from Casey. And messages from the mortuary concerning Allison's arrangements. The surprise comes in the time of day. I'll just be running an errand and a random thought flitters across my mind and I'm crying as a painful fist grips my heart. Then the fist lets go after just a moment and the tears stop, I'm left feeling caught off-guard.

I was running to Subway on Friday night and I passed Castle High School which is near our house. There was a lot of traffic and I could see the bright lights of Castle and hear the loud cheers of the crowd. I looked at the teens crossing the streets in droves and I cried, I mourned the loss of my girls as teenagers. When my friend, Leena, had first heard about Rory's heart defect, she ordered books on grief through Amazon and had them delivered to my door. I carried one book in particular around. One of the things it said was that no matter how early you lose a child, whether shortly after birth or even before birth, the loss is much more than just what you have. You not only have to mourn the loss of your child, you have to mourn the loss of the future you had plans for, hopes for, dreams for.

Since we found out we were having three little girls, our heads have been rapidly churning out plans for the future of our family. How to fit three cribs in the nursery. How to bathe three squirly babies. How to take three 10-month olds on a trip to the Big Island when my sister gets married. As I was listening to the roars from the Castle football game, I heard these familiar words in my head:

"for I know the plans I have for you

I had such wonderful plans for my girls. Yes, I kind of hoped they would all attend Kamehameha Schools like me, I wouldn't have minded HBA graduates like daddy. But I would have been happy to have them nearby at Castle, anything as long as they were happy. In 15 years, all of my three girls could have been at that Friday night game. Casey could be on the field, the talented placekicker. And in my dream, Rory and Allison are there too. Maybe Rory was in the band, playing drums. Yah, that would have rocked. Feisty Allison, a cheerleader, jumping up and down with excitement. Above all, they're surrounded by friends, laughing and being young. I not only have to grieve the loss of my two baby girls, but I will also have to grieve the loss of those two girls as young mothers themselves.

The words in my head come from a scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I'm kind of stumbling at times through this walk, totally not understanding everything. But then some things just strike me and I have to stop and just nod "I see that." God has such huge plans for us. He created us, we are his kids, his prize. He wants us to prosper. He wants to give stregnth to the weak, hope to the hopeless. He wants to give us a future. He has given us a purpose and he's excited to see how we will grow up. And yet, some of us just walk away from his plans, some of us walk away from him. I walked through Subway's parking lot and mourned the loss of ones I loved, I grieved the loss of the future I had envisioned for them...and I know God knows how I feel.

Prayer Requests:

-Casey to gain weight consistently

-Casey to get better at keeping her supplementary oxygen at 21% (she hovers between 22 to mid-twenties normally) and to keep her saturation levels up (she drops down to the 60's quickly when she should be above 83)

Praise Reports:

-Scott and I aren't sick. I do NOT have the flu!! Casey did not catch any germs!!!

-Casey has been eating well and started gaining weight!!!

- a great weekend with my friend Nalani last weekend and a great weekend with my dad this weekend


  1. That's wonderful about you guys and Casey! She's a beautiful litttle girl! I can definitly see Scott and you in her, I love that dimple! Still praying that she gains quickly and stays healthy growing stronger and bigger every day! Love you guys!

  2. I promise to pray, thank you so much for sharing your heart, I know that the Lord is using you both to encourage so many. Love! Aunty Connie

  3. Go Slugger!! Your little one is truly living up to her nickname. I'm glad that you and Scott are healthy - only good things for the Sunaoka family, please!

  4. Hello Scott, Kaeo and Casey,
    My name is Jason, I'm one of the chaplains over at Kaiser and I am also a church planter out in Kahalu'u. Came by today because my sister shared an email from her friend Lori asking for prayer. We are praying with you! Anything you need let us know.

  5. Normally I wouldn’t comment on posts but I felt that I had to as your writing style is really good. You have broken down a difficult area so that it easy to understand.